Tensions began to rise in May 2018 after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, and reimposed US sanctions on Tehran.
Brent crude futures were up 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $63.23 a barrel by 0054 GMT. Prices rose 1.6% last week. US West Texas Intermediate crude was down by 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $56.08 a barrel. WTI gained 1% last week.
A previous round of sanctions against Iran - that began in early 2012 and ended in 2016 - allowed Saudi Arabia and Iraq to raise their Asian market share. India also raised the volumes it took from Venezuela in that period to fill the Iranian oil gap.
US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the issue, the White House said today. Washington has also accused Tehran of being behind a similar incident on May 12. Four tankers were attacked in the same, vital oil shipping route.
Initially, not even pro-American Britain would go along with President Donald Trump’s administration, with officials defending a senior British general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State who said that there was no enhanced threat from Iran in Iraq and Syria.